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M A G A Z I N E Summer 2013

Keeping care

CLOSE TO HOME Family benefits from heart specialist

page 6

M A G A Z I N E Summer 2013



SANFORD HEALTH COMMITTED TO REGION Your comments, concerns and questions are always welcome. PLEASE CONTACT

Tim Flagstad, editor Sanford Health PO Box 5525 Bismarck, ND 58506-5525 (701) 323-6512 SH Magazine is published as a community service of Sanford Health.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tim Flagstad Patrick Kellar Kim Singer Mandy Thomas


The Creative Treatment


Kiley Brew, 4, was born with a congenital heart defect. She receives ongoing care from a Sanford Health pediatric cardiologist in Bismarck.

Nine months ago, the signs on our downtown campus changed from Medcenter One to Sanford Health, as we completed our historic merger. While our name is different, our commitment to providing high-quality, compassionate health care in our region is not. Local, dedicated leadership in Bismarck sets the strategic direction and priorities of Sanford Craig Lambrecht, MD President Health’s new western region. That leadership Bismarck region includes a team that guided Medcenter One and Sanford Health a Board of Directors made up of community members from Bismarck-Mandan and around the region. The same trusted doctors, nurses and health professionals are in place to provide care for our patients and to deliver on the Sanford Promise of delivering a flawless experience that inspires. Sanford Health strongly believes in investing in the communities it serves. Through our community dividend fund, we aim to help strengthen communities and enhance the quality of life through three specific areas. These areas include programs and activities that: promote health care and wellness, support education through academic and athletic programs and events and partner with communities in economic development efforts. We look forward to serving Bismarck-Mandan and central and western North Dakota for years to come, as we have for more than 100 years. Sincerely, Craig Lambrecht, MD


HEALTH IN FOCUS TIPS TO KNOW ABOUT BUG BITES With summer under way, we will be spending more time outdoors with our families and friends. Of course, in North Dakota, that usually means pesky bites from mosquitoes and other insects. Prevention To help avoid insect bites, use insect repellent that contains ingredients registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—an EPA registration number should be on the product label. Spray the repellent on clothes or skin, but avoid spraying it on your face. Make sure products used on children have no more than 10 percent DEET. Do not use repellent with DEET on babies under 2 months. Avoid putting repellent on children’s faces, hands and areas where they may have cuts, and wash the repellent off with soap and water after returning indoors. When using repellent and sunscreen, apply the sunscreen first. Krissondra Klop, DO Family Medicine Sanford South Clinic Bismarck

After a bite: reducing discomfort Most reactions are minimal, causing itching and mild swelling that goes away in a day or two. If needed, use ice or an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling. You also can use hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion or baking soda paste—all available over the counter—on the bite to reduce itching. If stung by a bee or wasp, remove the stinger if it is stuck in the skin, and wash the area with soap and water. After a bite: When to seek further help Typically, bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets are most likely to cause stronger reactions. If you experience nausea and intestinal cramps, fever, hives, painful joints, diarrhea or significant swelling, call your doctor. Symptoms of a severe reaction may include nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, facial or throat swelling, limbs that swell or turn blue and circulation problems related to your body going into shock. Go immediately to the nearest emergency department if you begin developing any of these conditions. If you are with someone who is having an allergic reaction, call for an ambulance immediately. Check to see if the person is carrying an EpiPen or medications to treat an allergic attack. If so, administer the drug as quickly as possible. Have the individual lie down and place the feet higher than the head. If the person begins choking or vomiting, turn the person onto his or her side. Krissondra Klop, DO, is a family medicine physician at Sanford South Clinic in Bismarck. To request an appointment with her, call (701) 323-8962 or visit


A routine wellness exam with Sherry Stein, MD, helped Donna Emter catch potentially serious health problems, allowing her more time with her husband, Ron, and her 1-year-old granddaughter, Lydia.

PREVENTION PAYS OFF Woman back on road to health after wellness exam reveals heart trouble

Donna Emter makes sure she always schedules an annual wellness visit with her primary care physician. One such visit with Sherry Stein, MD, a family medicine physician at Sanford South Clinic in Bismarck, potentially saved the 60-year-old’s life. Going into her January 2012 visit with Dr. Stein, Emter had been feeling unusually fatigued and had been experiencing trouble breathing. “I just attributed it to my age and sandbagging during the flood from the summer before,” Emter said, “so I just waited until my yearly appointment.” Emter didn’t have the chance to bring up that particular concern during the exam. Dr. Stein, Emter’s long-time primary care physician, knew right away something wasn’t right when she heard a murmur in Emter’s heart that never was there before. “I just trusted her so much,” Emter said. “She’s so open and willing to listen. I was just amazed. She heard the murmur and went running with it because she knew there was a problem.”

Before she left Dr. Stein’s office, Emter had an appointment with a Sanford Health cardiologist. After advanced testing, the heart team at Sanford Health found the cause of the problem and scheduled Emter for surgery. Soon after, Sean Russell, MD, Sanford heart surgeon in Bismarck, repaired the mitral valve in Emter’s heart. “Donna’s case is exactly why routine annual wellness visits are important,” Dr. Stein said. “People sometimes think they don’t need preventive visits, but they’re more important than anything. They allow us to catch things early and develop a treatment plan.” In October, Emter returned to Dr. Stein’s office. The patient noticed blood in her stool, and, because of her familiarity with Dr. Stein, Emter had no problem discussing such a sensitive topic. “When you’ve got something wrong with you, you don’t want to ignore it,” Emter said, “but you don’t want to believe that there’s something else wrong with you.” Dr. Stein set up an appointment with Douglas Berglund, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Sanford in Bismarck, for later in the week. A colonoscopy revealed a cancerous tumor in Emter’s colon. Dr. Berglund removed the tumor, and, because they caught it early, the cancer didn’t spread to Emter’s lymph nodes or her colon wall. “They worked together very well,” Emter said of Dr. Stein and the Sanford specialists. “She set up the appointments for me, so that was a big burden off of me. Not having anything wrong with me before, I would have been at a loss about how to take care of it. She made me feel that it’s more than her job—that she cared for me.” Now, six months later, Emter is still regaining her strength, but she has returned to her full-time position at CenturyLink in Bismarck. She and her husband, Ron, look forward to summer fishing excursions to their lake home on Lake Tschida. In the middle of her medical scares, Emter became a grandmother for the first time. Her granddaughter, Lydia, turned 1 on June 2. Because of her routine preventive exam and close relationship with her family medicine physician, Emter looks forward to watching her granddaughter grow up. “That’s what we’re so grateful for,” Emter said. “I feel so blessed.” Sanford Health operates three family medicine clinics in Bismarck and two in Mandan. To learn more about the locations and the services family medicine physicians provide or to request an appointment online, visit

Douglas Berglund, MD Colorectal surgeon Sanford Clinic Bismarck

Sean Russell, MD Heart surgeon Sanford Clinic Bismarck


HOME IS WHERE THE HEART CARE IS When 4-year-old Kylie Brew visits the doctor, her biggest worry is that she won’t walk away with the small package of Teddy Grahams patients at Sanford Children’s Clinic in Bismarck customarily receive. Her parents, of course, have greater concerns, but one thing they don’t have to fret over is lengthy travel for Kylie to receive her routine specialty care. A little more than a year ago, an echocardiogram, a test that produces an image of the heart, revealed a hole between the lower chambers of Kylie’s heart, which caused the heart murmur she had since birth. “It was definitely surprising because we had no idea,” said Lisa Brew, Kylie’s mother. “We thought it was a typical heart murmur.” The condition, known as a ventricular septal defect (VSD), was present in Kylie from birth. Congenital heart defects, such as VSD, are present in around

1 percent of children, said Justin Horner, MD, a Sanford Health pediatric cardiologist. Because of the VSD, Kylie must undergo routine testing to ensure her heart function remains normal and that the hole hasn’t worsened or caused any damage to the valves in her heart. Rather than travel out of town for those tests, the Brews, who live in Mandan, are able to keep Kylie close to home because of Dr. Horner, who makes regular visits to Bismarck from his Fargo office. When Dr. Horner is in Bismarck, he conducts a follow-up echocardiogram, other tests as needed and performs an exam. In between visits with Dr. Horner, Kylie’s Sanford pediatrician in Bismarck, Parag Kumar, MD, can consult with Dr. Horner if needed.

Justin Horner, MD, pediatric cardiologist, treats Kylie Brew in Bismarck. Kylie’s parents, Zach (bottom left, holding Kylie) and Lisa (right) are happy to receive the care close to home.

“It’s a big benefit. Parents don’t have to travel, and we have a quick opinion to us right away,” Dr. Kumar said. “Our mission is to deliver the best possible care under one roof, and this allows us to do that.” In one of the first visits with Dr. Horner, Lisa mentioned she is expecting another child. Because Kylie has a congenital heart defect, the chances of the baby having one doubles, Dr. Horner said. So, Dr. Horner performed a fetal echocardiogram on Lisa to check the fetus’ heart to make sure it was developing properly. “Any time you’re pregnant, you have concerns and worries,” Lisa said. “It gives me peace of mind.” At some point in the future, Kylie may have to undergo open heart surgery to repair the hole in her heart, a decision the Brews will make while working with Dr. Horner. With or without surgery, Dr. Horner said Kylie likely can expect to live a normal and healthy life with no limitations on her activity, which is welcome news to her parents. “Kylie would be the last child you’d think would have a heart defect. She is the wild child,” Lisa said. “She’s in gymnastics, and she wants to play hockey. She’s very active, and she would not be a good child to sit on the sidelines.”

With his regular visits, Dr. Horner will make sure Kylie doesn’t have to. Dr. Horner, a Mandan native and graduate of Mandan High, is happy to bring the service to the region. “We don’t just see people from Bismarck-Mandan,” he said. “We see people from all over the western part of North Dakota, keeping patients closer to home.” For more information on Sanford Children’s services in Bismarck, visit

Parag Kumar, MD Pediatrician Sanford Clinic Bismarck


FAMILY TIME NOW MEANS FIT TIME Parents see significant results following weight-loss surgery

Matt Sperry saw his two young sons developing his same sedentary habits, and it helped spur him to action. “They’d come home from school or day care and immediately go turn the TV on and sit down,” Sperry said. “I realized that’s because that’s what I did.” Those behaviors started to change in October when Sperry underwent gastric bypass surgery at Sanford Health in Bismarck. Sperry’s wife, Kristen, had her own gastric bypass in December. Combined, the couple have shed 195 pounds in that short time frame, and the healthy choices Matt and Kristen now make post-operation have trickled down to their children. Matt took up rollerblading, and he started Taekwondo lessons with his 5-year-old son, Jackson. The family, which also includes 3-year-old Jonathan, spends far more time outside being active, including taking family bike rides along the Missouri River. “If I mentioned a bike ride or rollerblading to Matt before, it’d be like having a third child having a temper tantrum,” said Kristen, who found it difficult to promote an active lifestyle previously with Matt being reluctant. “It’s easier if you can do it as a family together rather than leaving one behind.” For Matt, the decision to have weight-loss surgery came after he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He tried to lose weight through exercise and improved diet, and he did drop significant weight. He hit a plateau 100 pounds above his goal weight, though, which led to frustration. With his weight back up to 341 pounds, he asked his doctor about weight-loss surgery. Continued on page 10

Matt and Kristen Sperry and their sons, Jackson and Jonathan, keep active as a family since Matt and Kristen had weight-loss surgery. The two have dropped 195 pounds combined from before the surgeries (below).


FAMILY TIME NOW MEANS FIT TIME continued from page 8 “The lowest weight I could get to on my own still had me being a candidate for surgery,” Matt said of his earlier weightloss attempt. Seven months following his procedure, Matt, 32, has lost 120 pounds, with his goal weight being 185 pounds, and his diabetes is now under control. Bree Dewing, MD Weight-loss surgeon Sanford Clinic Bismarck

Kristen’s weight slowly reached a point of concern, and, ultimately, she experienced a spike in her blood pressure—particularly during her pregnancies. She has a family history of high blood pressure, and she didn’t want to rely on pills to keep her blood pressure in check. When the 34-year-old had her procedure, her weight was up to 266 pounds, and she has lost 75 pounds since. Her blood pressure now is right in the middle of the healthy range, and chronic back pain she had experienced has subsided. Bree Dewing, MD, the Sanford Health weight-loss surgeon who performed both procedures, knew the Sperrys were good candidates for surgery after meeting with them. Patients must see surgery as a tool—not a magic solution—for weight loss to complement healthy eating and increased exercise. The fact Matt and Kristen went through the process together provided an added bonus. “It helps a lot with the diet and exercise, and it provides added motivation,” Dr. Dewing said. “It really drives them—particularly with the exercise.”

If they have questions, Matt and Kristen know the weight-loss team at Sanford Health is always available. “There are things you just don’t think about that come up in your daily life that you don’t think to ask in the doctor’s office,” Matt said. “It’s been really nice to know that I can just call over there when I need to.” The couple also regularly attend a weight-loss surgery support group at Sanford Health to help stay on track. Both Matt and Kristen work for the North Dakota Department of Transportation, and they both spend a lot of time in the field at various locations throughout construction season. This year has been easier for both of them given their weight loss, as they can move around better and feel fewer aches and pains in their backs and legs. They also are far more active as a family, which will help their children develop healthy habits. Kristen has noticed another perk, as well. “It’s nice to be able to go to the store and not have to shop in a different section for clothes,” she said. “You can just buy stuff off the rack.” Sanford Health holds monthly weight-loss surgery information sessions in Bismarck. To attend one of the free sessions, call (701) 323-5300. For more on weight-loss surgery, including requirements patients must meet to be eligible, visit bismarck.

Attention princes and princesses:

The castle awaits you

Open ing

Ju ly 8

Come see us at our new location

Open House

Sanford Children’s continues to offer services 8 a.m.–5 p.m. by appointment, and 8 a.m.–8 p.m. for walk-in service, Monday through Friday, at the Sanford Children’s Downtown Clinic within the Q&R Tower at 222 North Seventh Street.

Katherine Klein, MD Pediatrician

Parag Kumar, MD Pediatrician

Sara Reinke, MD Pediatrician

Melissa Seibel, MD Pediatrician

y Av e.

W. Century Ave. Centennial Elementary School

N. Washington St.

To schedule an appointment 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday, call (701) 323-3700 or request an appointment online at

N ntur

Sanford Health is excited to announce the opening of the new Sanford Children’s North Clinic, a Castle of Care, on July 8. This clinic is located at 765 W. Interstate Avenue in Bismarck, near Pinehurst Square. As a Castle of Care, the Sanford Children’s North Clinic is a vibrant, colorful place where children from birth to age 18 can be comfortable and find inspiration, imagination and play to help them heal.

Join us 5–6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, for a tour of the new clinic, to say “hi” to Meddy Bear and enjoy a snack.

W. C e

beginning July 8

W. In

ter sta te

Ave .


W. Interstate Ave. I-94

765 W. Interstate Ave., Bismarck, ND 58503

Amber Caster, PNP Mark Doerner, PhD Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Psychologist

Sanford 300 N. Seventh St. Bismarck, ND 58501

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 187 Bismarck, ND


6.13 CRV-CRV-815

Sanford Health welcomes

Steven Bock, MD,a board-certified surgeon who specializes in weight-loss procedures.

As a weight-loss surgeon, Dr. Bock performs weight-loss surgery, a procedure for qualified obese patients to achieve significant weight loss. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Medical education: New York University School of Medicine General surgery internship and residency: SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y. Surgical oncology fellowship: National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md. Board certification: American Board of Surgery Request an appointment with Dr. Brock at Sanford Clinic in the Q&R Tower by calling (701) 323-5300 or by visiting

June 2013